Dilatation and curettage with hysteroscopic evaluation are procedures that are performed under anesthesia. During D&C, the practitioner scrapes the endometrial lining from the uterus, which curtails heavy bleeding for at least a number of months. The scraping also provides an opportunity for laboratory evaluation of the tissue, to rule out abnormal cells or tissue development. The “D” stands for dilation (opening) of the cervix — often the most painful part of the procedure.
Hysteroscopy technique allows the surgeon to evaluate the inside of the uterus with a camera, at which point they can perform a selective biopsy or a full D&C of the endometrial lining. Polyps or small internal pedunculate (stalked) fibroids can also be visualized and removed during hysteroscopy.
Hysteroscopy is an excellent option to use together with the common D&C to obtain more information about a woman’s uterus, but not all doctors are skilled in this technique. Smaller facilities may not have the necessary equipment for hysteroscopy, but soon it is likely to become a standard part of D&C.